Germany U-turn madness as Scholz makes hat-trick of climb downs on Ukraine invasion

During his meeting to the Bundestag on Sunday, Mr Scholz – who took over as Chancellor from Angela Merkel – announced that in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, some of Germany’s fundamental policies must be reversed.

He vowed to increase Germany’s defence spending as well as creating new gas storage reserves after Berlin halted the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in wake of the invasion.

Mr Scholz also promised to expel Russian banks from SWIFT and said: “Together with the Heads of State and Government of the EU, we have passed a package of sanctions on an unprecedented scale.”

These sanctions included cutting off Russian banks and state businesses as well as stopping the export of cutting-edge technology to Russia.

Mr Scholz said: “In addition to this, there are the punitive measures against Putin and individuals close to him as well as restrictions on the granting of visas to Russian officials.

“And we are excluding major Russian banks from the banking communication network Swift.

“We reached an agreement on this yesterday with the Heads of State and Government of the democracies with the strongest economies and of the EU.”

He also accused Putin of wanting to “build a Russian empire” and said Germany needs “better equipment, modern technology” and more personnel.

Mr Scholz added: “We will therefore set up a special fund for the Bundeswehr.”

READ MORE: Alexander Povetkin appears to defend Russian invasion of Ukraine

In 2019, the former President said during a NATO Summit: “It’s not right to be taken advantage of on NATO and also then to be taken advantage of on tradem and that’s what happens.

“We can’t let that happen.”

Officials from Moscow and Kyiv attended the talks which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hoped would establish a ceasefire and get Russia to withdraw forces.

The talks were held on the border with Russia’s strongest ally Belarus.

But a convoy of military vehicles was seen heading east in what looked like preparation to join the Russian invasion.

Talks have now concluded with further discussions to be held in the coming days, the Belarusian state news agency said – citing the Russian delegation.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he hoped the talks would “produce not only an immediate halt to the fighting, but also a path towards a diplomatic solution.”

He described Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision on Sunday to put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert as a “chilling development,” telling the General Assembly that nuclear conflict is “inconceivable.”

Mr Guterres also warned about the impact of the conflict on civilians and said it could become Europe’s worst humanitarian and refugee crisis in decades.

According to the interior ministry of Ukraine, at least 352 Ukrainian civilians have been killed so far as Putin began his invasion of the former Soviet country.

Around 1,684 people – including 116 children – have been wounded.

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